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It requires less personal commitment than marriage 14% 18% 46% 48% b.
Waite University of Chicago Introduction Americans often talk as if marriage were a private, personal relationship.But when two people live together for their own strictly private reasons, and carve out their own, strictly private bargain about the relationship, without any legal or social pressures, we call that relationship not marriage but "cohabitation." In America, it is now more popular than ever.More men and women are moving in together, sharing an apartment and a bed, without getting married first.The latest Census Bureau figures show 4 million couples living together outside of marriage (not counting gay couples), 8 times as many as in 1970.But as the moral prohibition against "premarital" sex weakened and more unmarried men and women began to conduct active sex lives openly, the stigma of living together also weakened, although it has not disappeared. People used to believe that living together in a "trial marriage" told potential partners something about what marriage would be like.The information gained could help couples make good choices and avoid bad onescohabiting before marriage could lead to better marriages later.
Survey evidence shows how widespread this belief is.
Table 1 shows views on reasons for and against cohabitation among cohabitors under age 35. Views on Reasons For and Against Cohabitation: Cohabitors Under Age 35 a.
In 1970 there was one cohabiting couple for every 100 married couple households.
Now there are 8 couples living together for every 100 married couples.
Not only are more couples living together, they are doing so more openly.
Thirty years ago men and women who lived together generally presented themselves as married; often the woman would use the husband's surname and the title "Mrs." In many states, their relationship became a legal, common-law marriage after a certain number of years had passed.